Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has lamented his side’s decision to drop deep in Sunday’s draw with London rivals West Ham.
The north Londoners looked on course to pick up their second home league win of the season when they raced into a three-goal lead in just 16 minutes.
Mourinho’s troops, however, threw away victory in a disastrous final 12 minutes, which ended with Manuel Lanzini equalising for the visitors with a superb stoppage-time effort from 25 yards.
The nerves immediately began to creep in for Spurs when Fabian Balbuena gave the Hammers a lifeline in the 82nd minute, with the home side dropping deep an inviting more pressure.
And Mourinho couldn’t help but vent his anger at his side’s costly decision in his post-match interview.
“Not deliberately, but the team was dropping, yes,” an annoyed Mourinho told Sky Sports. “I think then with Winks the team found balance again and the team was again in control of the game that we lost a little bit in the beginning of the second half.
“It’s exactly when we were in control that we concede the first goal, then after that, their belief went up and probably my guys were not strong enough to cope with it psychologically.
Tottenham Hotspur: 59
Manchester United: 7
Manchester City: 1
“Then we went back, the clock was ticking, we knew that, in the last few seconds it was two points.”
As much as Mourinho attributes Tottenham’s dropped points to deep defending, the Portuguese was quick to give West Ham praise for their heroics.
“Of course, I have to analyse the second half and I have to do it internally but for you, I prefer to just say that football happens and I prefer to praise West Ham’s belief,” ‘The Special One’ said.
“It’s not easy to be losing 3-0 and to be, let’s say, dominated, because we had the game under control. It’s not easy to keep the belief.
“I knew they are a completely different team this season than they were last season, so I give them credit.
“But, of course, to concede three goals and to lose an advantage of three goals is a big punishment and eventually deserved.”
Spurs will look to bounce back from their disappointing draw on Thursday night when they welcome Austrian side LASK to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for their opening Europa League fixture of the season.